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My new Tsunami...

2645 Views 13 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Wookiebiker
Well, since I have odd body dimensions I wanted a custom frame again...this time more race oriented, however I didn't have a lot of money to spend. Looking around it appeared the best deal out there was a custom frame from Tsunami Cycles since they do custom geometry for $650.00.

The frame is heat treated aluminum...which some might not like due to aluminums reputation for a harsh ride...however, I've had several aluminum bikes and never had issues with the ride. Initial reviews of this frame are good. The bike is stiff, but dropping the tire pressure a little gives a more than acceptable ride.

The frame was built up with the parts from my Velo Vie and the frame weight is 2 pounds 13 ounces (with headset installed). Total bike weight is 18 pounds 6 ounces with cages and powertap on the bike.


57cm Top Tube
50cm Seat Tube
11.2cm Head Tube (14cm total stack height)
73.5 degree HTA
74 degree STA

Side Shot

Angle Shot

American Built

Front End

Seat Tube Juncture

Back of the bike

Rear Dropout

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1 - 7 of 14 Posts
Ventruck said:
Nice, clean, and "the business". Looks great.

IIRC, you're a fan of having more drop, and the Thomson stem is at most 10 degrees +/-...plans to swap in a 10-17 degree stem?
No plans to change the stem at this time...though I don't have enough ride time on it to really say one way or the other. I may change my mind after a couple hundred miles in the saddle.

I actually had the head tube length reduced to a height where using a -10 degree stem would put the bars where I wanted them so I could get away from the -17 degree stems I've had to use in the past (one of the great things about going custom).

The current front end is about 1.5cm longer and 1cm lower than my set up on my Velo Vie...So I'm lower and a bit more stretched out than I was before.
FatTireFred said:
seems like that was pretty fast
Yea, turnaround time from order placement to delivery at my door was right at 2 months. I can't complain much about that at all :D
flasheswoman said:
2 months?? isnt it a tad too long for ya?
For a custom made frame? It's better than the 6 months I waited for my first one from another builder....or the 5+ year wait list for a Vanilla or Sachs before he stopped taking orders.

2 months is about as fast as you will ever get when it comes to custom frames :)
Well, I was able to get out for a 42 mile ride on the new frame today and's a very nice ride.

At this point I'll go out on a limb and say it may have the stiffest bottom bracket I've had on any bike I've ridden. Get out of the saddle an it's stiff, doesn't flex and gives great acceleration.

The ride of the bike is stiff....not what I would put in the "vertically compliant laterally stiff category" :p It rides harsher than my previous carbon frame, but is still within acceptable parameters for overall ride quality. I won't have any issues spending 4+ hours on it in the future.

The stiffness of the frame makes climbing more enjoyable. When combined with the longer front center, I found myself out of the saddle more than I have in the past...a lot more. It just felt more comfortable to be out of the saddle and just as powerful if not more so.

Handling wise it was rock solid at speeds near 50 mph. It goes through corners well and this is the first bike in a while I feel perfectly fine riding with no hands. Other bikes I've had felt too squirrelly to ride with no hands.

The rear end also feels a little more solid than on my previous carbon fiber bike. Not sure if it's actually stiffer or just due to different geometry, but it feels like it's flexing less....which in turn instills more confidence in the turns.

Out of the saddle with the longer front end I can get out of the saddle and sprint hard at higher speeds. One of my big issues with my previous bike was that it was squirrelly when sprinting at speeds over 36 mph or so. Today on a descent when I hit a flat part I jumped out of the saddle at 43 mph and gave a hard sprint and it felt very sprinting in the future should be better since I can stay out of the saddle longer for better power transfer at high speeds.

The downsides so far:

I'm not sure if I'm going to keep the -10 degree stem yet. It feels good in the drops, but I feel too tall on the hoods. I might change out from the 110/-10 stem to a 100/-17 stem in the future....but I'm not sure. I'll spend a few hundred miles with this set up before deciding to change or not.

The internal rear brake cable routing...while very slick and nice looking rattles inside the top tube on rougher roads, which can get a little annoying after a while. On a group ride I probably wouldn't notice it, but riding solo it's very apparent. When I got home I shortened the cable housing by 1cm so I'll see if that makes a difference on future rides.

The harsher ride may lead to a little more fatigue on longer rides/races. I'll have to see how this goes and may start using 25c tires with 5-10 psi less for a better ride in the future.

Overall...for $650.00 I'm quite happy with the frame so far. I've got a lot of riding to do before I feel really good about the purchase and a lot will be found out if I get it out for a hard group ride this weekend (weather dependent).
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M77PT said:
from what i've seen, tsunami doesn't clean up their welds on the surface. what you see is what you get with tig & argon purge weld by an f.a.a. certified welder. i'd take that over a sanded & made aesthetically pretty weld by a kid in a factory overseas. fyi, just because it looks pretty on the final bike (after sanding, prepping, painting, etc.) doesn't mean boo. when you get a photo of raw frame from tsunami post-weld, you'll see just how the frame responded to the heat/stress. not to say a scattante isn't a decent frame or made well, and maybe it is, but you get what you pay for. seriously, comparing a couple of hundred $ factory frame (and that's AFTER it makes it outta the factory, through any number of middlemen, and into the retail channel), to custom handbuilt in u.s. with easton 7005 tubing? apples to oranges.

I concur...and I will say the welds look a lot better in person than they do in pictures.

If I were looking for a beauty contest bike, I'd save my bucks and get a Moots, Seven or other high end Ti frame....but pay 8x's at much.

I put in a hard 66.72 miles on it today and love it. The bike feels "Rock Solid" in all aspects and I didn't feel any more tired on it than I did on my full carbon frame. However... I did set a new PR on my "Baseline" climb which is a 6.55 mile climb that averages around 3.25% with a time of 22:10 (17.73 mph average speed).
I just wanted to give an update now that I've had some time to dial things in fit wise and get some miles on the bike.

Last weekend I put 183 miles on the bike over the three day Memorial day weekend...and today I put in a 114 mile ride with my teammates (along with another shorter 23 mile ride yesterday). I've adjusted the seat a little lowering it a few mm's from my first few rides and adjusted the angle of the saddle. I've also lowered the tire pressure by about 10 psi in both front and back and am now running 105 front and 110 in the rear.

Overall...I'm very happy with the frame.

The welds are not the best looking welds, but they are solid. The paint is nice and the Tsunami decal, at first I thought was black until I got it into the sunlight when I noticed that it was actually paint and was a nice, dark, metallic blue (I had asked for blue but was OK if it was going to be too much of a hassle).

The only geometry measurements I was concerned about were the STA, the HT length and the TT length...the rest I left up to the builder, but we agreed upon all the measurements before the build was started....The end result is a great handling bike.

  • I've had it up to 50 mph on descents and it's rock solid.
  • I've gone down twisty descents at speed and it carves corners well.
  • I've climbed steep hills (15+ % grades) and it climbs great.
  • I've sprinted out of the saddle, coming off of a descent at 43+ mph and it was very confidence inspiring with no instability compared to my old frame (that was too small).
  • The bottom bracket stiffness is, as I've said before, probably the stiffest I've ever had on a bike.
  • The ride is stiff, but with the lower PSI in the tires more than acceptable (I finished 114 miles and almost 5000 feet of climbing, still feeling pretty fresh)

I have found two things about the frame that are negative in my opinion:

  • I found a paint run near the head tube, though I didn't notice until today with it in the sun.
  • The front dérailleur cable is rubbing on the rear chain stay...which could be a result of how I have the cables routed (I cross them under the down tube for better cable routing at the bars)

I'm going to play around with the cable guides to see if I can adjust it, or maybe re-route the cables to see if that helps. If not, I'll get a cable guide that extends around the BB past the chainstay so it won't be an issue.

Overall....Tsumani builds very workman oriented frames. They are not flashy like other brands, but they are solid, get the job done frames. Not only do they do this at a great price, but they are able to get them to their customers faster than many other custom builders.

At this time...chalk me up as a satisfied customer :thumbsup:
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